The process of pursuing a personal injury claim is rarely as simple as presenting a statement of what happened, how you feel, and how much you expect to recover in damages.
People often come into cases with serious misconceptions, and these issues can lead to claims being lost entirely or settled on less than favorable terms. You may be wondering what happens if you lose a car accident lawsuit or another type of personal injury lawsuit. Here are several things that cases that were lost often had in common, and considerations to help you avoid making the same mistake.
Not Being Represented By An Attorney
A personal injury claim is both a science and an art. It’s science in the respect that there are court filings that have to be done in a certain way. There are strict deadlines that you have to meet. However, it’s also an art in that it takes skill to negotiate a settlement. It also takes experienced judgment to know when to accept a settlement offer.
When you try to handle your personal injury case without an attorney, you’re missing out on valuable experience that can make a difference. They can help you take care of the nuts and bolts of filing the paperwork and handling court appearances. They also have the judgment to help you make decisions about the legal strategy and how to resolve the case. If you go it alone without an attorney, you may recover far less than you deserve or even nothing at all.
It’s possible to be the victim of a personal injury accident while also contributing to the accident. Multiple parties can all share some degree of fault for the accident. When you share some degree of fault, it’s possible for you to recover less than the full amount of your damages. It’s also possible that you recover nothing at all.
It’s essential to be prepared if the other side accuses you of contributory negligence. You need to know how to fight back and present the appropriate response so that you don’t lose your case because of contributory negligence.
When you have a personal injury claim, it’s important to be truthful throughout the entire process. What you put in court documents and say in court has to be the truth. Misrepresentations or even exaggeration can prove fatal to a case.
Misrepresentation may lead to a court dismissing a claim or issuing sanctions. They might suppress evidence that makes it difficult for you to pursue your claim. Ultimately, misrepresentation may be a reason that you lose your personal injury case.
It can be tempting to take out your frustrations on social media. It’s also fun to share aspects of your life with friends and family. However, sharing on socials can be a big mistake when you have a personal injury claim. Things that you say on social media may be admissible in court. The other side can print out your social media post and ask the court to present it to the jury.
Ten years ago, the courts may have been skeptical about social media, but today they embrace it as fairly reliable evidence. Posts that contradict what you claim as your health status can make you lose your case. You might also inadvertently make a post that gives away your legal strategy or states the facts in a confusing way. Staying off social media platforms in the wake of a personal injury accident is a great way to avoid a mistake that can unravel your case.
Lack of Documentation
Documentation is vital in a personal injury claim. You need to prove when the accident happened, how it happened and who is to blame. You need to not only have a great case, but you need to convince others that you have a great case. Documentation is critical to back up your legal strategy.
Police reports, incident reports, photographs, records of medical care and receipts are all a part of the process. Keeping a diary of your pain and symptoms is also important. Your attorney helps you synthesize all of this information in order to present your compensation claim.
Speculation and Misstatements
If you don’t know an answer, it’s okay to say that you don’t know. In fact, it’s crucial to say that you don’t know. When you speculate about an answer or someone’s motivations, you may open yourself up to creating holes in your case that can unravel your claim. It’s better to decline to comment and work with your lawyer to respond appropriately to questions, requests and discovery demands.
You deserve the full compensation for your injuries under the law. When you minimize your injuries, you reduce what you may receive in compensation. It’s natural to want to seem resilient, avoid conflict and hope to resolve things quickly. However, you should always get the financial compensation you need and deserve.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get fair compensation for your injuries and suffering. They’re trained to work objectively to evaluate the case and your damages to ensure that your claim is complete.
It’s essential to be prepared for every step of your case. When you have a court appearance, you need to know what it’s for, and you need to know what to say in advance. When you’re proving the value of your damages, it’s critical to come prepared with the documentation.
In addition, think through what questions and issues might arise, and be ready to address them. Your personal injury attorney can help you prepare and practice your responses so that you feel comfortable and confident walking into the courtroom. A lack of preparation can lead to a poor result in a personal injury case.
Waiting Too Long to Seek Legal Help
The sooner you work with an attorney, the sooner you have a trained expert to help with your case. They can provide useful direction and optimize your case from the beginning. If you wait too long to seek legal help, it may be harder to gather evidence and present the case.
Hiding Past Accidents, Injuries, Job Firings and More
Your attorney needs to know the whole story. They also need time to prepare responses to unflattering or confusing information. When you hide past accidents, injuries or job firings, they may be caught off guard at the worst possible time. Telling your attorney everything upfront can help you and your case to be successful.
11. Inaccurate Tax Returns
Sometimes, the damages that you have are based on your lost earnings. When your tax returns understate your earnings, it can become challenging to get the compensation that you really deserve. You may not be able to recover for lost wages if your tax returns do not accurately reflect your actual income.
12. Exaggerating Your Injuries
It can be tempting to want to exaggerate your injuries. However, if the jury thinks you’re exaggerating, they may not believe the other facts of your case. Also, they may not be able to sort out what you truly deserve in compensation. Exaggerating your injuries can be a reason that you lose your case.
13. Not Working With Your Attorney as a Team
You and your attorney are a team. They need your input! They may also ask you to do certain things like keeping receipts, gathering records, keeping a journal and preparing for court appearances. If you don’t work with your attorney, and you’re not available to offer your opinion, it might result in losing your case. Your attorney is your advocate and guide; together, you can reach a successful result in your case.
Adam S. Kutner Accident & Injury Attorneys can help you better prepare for the complex considerations of filing a personal injury case. Don’t risk losing your case on a technicality, or because of one of the reasons above. Call to schedule your free consultation today.